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The art of broken hearts: smashed mannequin to a bottled wedding dress

When a couple splits, there are always objects resonant with the love that’s been lost. But what should you do with the stuff? How about submitting it to the Museum of Broken Relationships…

What can one do with the frail ruins of a love affair?” asks Olinka Vištica, curator of the Museum of Broken Relationships – an idea that began 12 years ago when her own union, with co-curator Dražen Grubišić, was breaking up. “The physical remains of our four years together gawked at us from every corner of the house,” she says, “a dusty computer with photographs of happier times, books inscribed with failed promises… Where would it all end up?” And so their plan for an ever-evolving collection donated by the world’s broken hearted was born.

At first, their museum started as an installation at a local arts festival. Exhibitions in Berlin, San Francisco, Ljubljana and Singapore soon followed, and the debris of love lost and hearts shattered, was sent to them from around the world. “I have lost count of how many parcels stamped in Europe, India, China, Austrlia, or the US, we have personally opened.”

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